The bubbles are back!

What is it about the bubble tubes that makes people smile? Why is it that every child who enters the Aquarium’s lobby runs to give them a hug?

Whatever the reason, this simply designed exhibit holds a fascinating, almost whimsical ingredient for success.

Millions of visitors have come to recognize the bubble tubes as one of the most familiar and iconic features at the Aquarium. After 30 years, the bubble tubes were showing their age, so we replaced them and made the lights more energy-efficient at the same time. 

Check out this video about the renovation:

Of course, this being the National Aquarium, we didn’t just throw the old tubes away! They were donated to a nonprofit animal sanctuary, where they’re being turned into enrichment items for the animals!

With the newly completed renovations, these lobby staples are brighter, clearer, and bluer (and “greener,” thanks to the new energy-efficient LED lighting). They continue to be a reminder that in our realistically simulated world there is indeed magic in water…and bubbles.
Bubble Tubes

2 Responses to “The bubbles are back!”


  1. 1 Fran Gunther Minges December 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    The week the Aquarium opened, a certain architect was messing with the color of the water in the tubes. He was filling one with a hose and walked away, leaving the water running. Voila – blue water all over the new carpet!

  2. 2 Born This Way Tour Australia March 22, 2012 at 8:13 am

    An amazing article, thanks for the writing.


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